This thesis identifies the contributions of gold from mine to market in financing nefarious organizations, sustaining illicit economies, and impacting national economies. After identifying common practices at all levels of operations and the market participants involved, regional cases from Africa, the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, and South America are discussed, which illuminate the vulnerabilities in this trade. Nongovernmental organization, intergovernmental organization, and state responses are also discussed in their efforts to counter threat financing, formalize operations, and identify problematic sourcing of this highly liquid commodity. Threat financing being transnational in nature, the international policy environment in the context of the Financial Action Task Force is also analyzed to illuminate network structures and identify at-risk states. Market operations and the narrative of regional threats were constructed through research into United States and intergovernmental organization publications, foreign state produced publications and legislation, industry trade-group standards, academic literature, and open-source reporting. Published data was also collected from the Financial Action Task Force, the World Bank, the United Nations, industry groups, and auditing firms.